Research Focus - Dentistry Biorepository (Butali Lab)

Project/Position Details

The College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics’ Biorepository is a biobank that collects dental and craniofacial patients’ medical and dental information, as well as a saliva samples for DNA/RNA extraction (i.e., genetic information). In the future, researchers will be able to request access to a coded set of patient data and samples in order to possibly find genetic causes, better treatments, and ways to prevent a variety of dental, craniofacial, and medical conditions.

A Biorepository Student’s primary function is to assist the Biorepository in recruiting new pediatric and adult patients and blood-related family members to the Biorepository at a variety of fast-paced clinics within the College of Dentistry and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (i.e., Cleft Clinic). The Biorepository Student shows enthusiasm, leadership, confidence, and professionalism in all interactions while delivering superior customer service at all times.  The Biorepository Student must be registered as a University of Iowa student to receive academic credit, and we do not currently accept volunteers.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
1.) Identify potential research subjects via AxiUm, the College of Dentistry’s electronic dental record.
2.) Conduct an informed consent discussion with potential research subjects either via telephone or in-person, and obtain informed consent.
3.) Assist with scheduling, stocking supplies, and preparing paperwork for clinical research study visits.
4.) Assist with mailings to research subjects.
5.) Actively and independently participate in clinic sessions and clinical research study visits.
6.) Obtain biospecimens as per Standard Operating Procedures/Bloodborne Pathogen Regulations and Standards, and perform data entry via Progeny database.
7.) Obtain medical and dental history information and perform data entry via AxiUm.
8.) Correctly classify research subjects as per diagnosis.
9.) Provide compensation to research subjects.
10.) Ensure that research subject privacy and confidentiality are maintained.
11.) Attend biweekly meetings with Biorepository Coordinator and Study Team.
12.) Maintain proper work attire, as per the College of Dentistry’s Guide for Personal Appearance.
13.) To Be Determined: There may be a need for DNA or RNA extraction in the laboratory.

• If you are selected to join our Biorepository team, we will be awarding academic credit in the form of a grade, and you will need to register for the University of Iowa course, URES:3994:0IND Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects where 1 semester hour is the equivalent to 3 hours of Biorepository work per week. Note: Students must be able to commit to at least 3+ hours of Biorepository work at 1+ shifts per week while still meeting the demands of their academic/work schedules. You are able to register for more than 1 semester hour.


To successfully perform this role, a Biorepository student must be able to satisfactorily perform each essential duty and responsibility in addition to the following:

* Strong adherence to following written protocols and verbal instructions, as well as implementing feedback quickly.
* Strong attention to detail, as well as the ability to complete work with high levels of efficiency AND accuracy.
* Strong stomach (i.e., able to collect saliva samples from patients, either by patient salivating into container or saliva swab).
* Effectively and proactively communicate with a highly diverse group of research subjects, family members, and faculty/staff members either in-person, on the phone, or in writing/email, as well as provide superior customer service skills.